Sao Paulo replaces police bosses amid wave of murders


Wed, Nov 28, 2012 - Page 7

The chiefs of police in Sao Paulo were replaced on Monday as Brazil’s largest city emerged from a bloody weekend and authorities struggled to contain a wave of violence that has doubled the murder rate in recent months.

Sao Paulo state security chief Fernando Grella, who took over the job four days ago, replaced the chiefs of the civil and military branches of the police and vowed to work closely with police, put more officers in the streets of Sao Paulo and investigate every murder.

There will be daily meetings among the heads of police departments, Grella said in a prepared statement, adding that the goal of the close collaboration was to develop strategies to combat the wave of violence that had rocked the city for months now.

“We’re going to work intensely to reverse the homicide rate in the state to what it was months ago,” he said. “We are not discarding any measures.”

Last month saw 150 murders — a 92 percent jump from October last year. The violence continued over the weekend. According to the newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo, 15 people were shot to death on Saturday and Sunday.

The deaths include execution-style killings of civilians and police officers, many them by hooded men on motorcycles.